General Spanky

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General Spanky
OURGANGgeneralspanky1936.jpg
Directed by Fred Newmeyer
Gordon Douglas
Written byRichard Flournoy
John Guedel
Carl Harbaugh
Hal Yates
Produced by Hal Roach
Starring George McFarland
Phillips Holmes
Rosina Lawrence
Billie Thomas
Carl Switzer
Cinematography Art Lloyd
Walter Lundin
Music by Marvin Hatley
Production
company
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 11, 1936 (1936-12-11)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

General Spanky is a 1936 American comedy film produced by Hal Roach. A spin-off of Roach's popular Our Gang short subjects, the film stars George McFarland, Phillips Holmes, Rosina Lawrence, Billie Thomas and Carl Switzer. Directed by Fred Newmeyer and Gordon Douglas, it was originally released to theaters on December 11, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Contents

This film, a Civil War period piece, was intended as an experiment to determine if Roach could move Our Gang into features, as the double feature and block booking were slowly smothering his short subjects production. The film was a box-office disappointment and, after another year of shorts production, Roach ended up selling the Our Gang unit to MGM in May 1938.

When Roach bought the rights to the back catalog of Our Gang films he had produced from MGM in 1949, he did not buy back the rights to General Spanky. The film was part of the MGM catalog acquired in 1986 by Turner Entertainment, which holds the rights today as a subsidiary of Warner Bros. General Spanky was released on VHS and laserdisc in 1991. In 2016 it was released on DVD in Region 1 by Warner Bros. via their Warner Archive Collection.

Plot

Spanky (George McFarland), Alfalfa (Carl Switzer), Buckwheat (Billie Thomas) and others form an army called "The Royal Protection of Women and Children Regiment Club of the World and Mississippi River". The group sees unexpected action when Union troops approach, engaging in battles more farcical than fierce. Using clowning tactics instead of military tactics, the kids stop the advance . . . and later save an adult friend from the firing squad.

Cast

Principal cast

Additional cast

Awards

The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Sound Recording (Elmer A. Raguse). [1]

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References

  1. "The 9th Academy Awards (1937) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-09.